"I thought I would be fearless. Who cares that I’m a pregnant man? Fuck it! But I was actually really scared of being hurt or attacked. All my radical, queer, devil-may-care attitude dissipated because every part of my body was dedicated to keeping this baby safe and keeping me safe."
For the past four years, Trystan Reese has lived in Portland, Oregon, with his husband, Biff Chaplow and their two adopted children (Chaplow's biological niece and nephew). Their day-to-day lives are, for the most part, textbook ordinary — school, work, playdates, grocery-store run, repeat. The kids call Trystan “Daddy” and Reese “Dada.”
Recently, Trystan and Biff began to discuss the idea of expanding their family. Trystan, a 34-year-old trans man, would carry the couple's first biological child. After Trystan got pregnant, the couple made the decision to share part of their journey online, but they did not plan on having their story go viral. While a trans man carrying a child is by no means a medical miracle, and Trystan is certainly not the first to do so in the public eye — think Thomas Beatie on Oprah in 2008 — their story has still attracted attention, both negative and positive.
We visited Trystan and Biff at their home in Portland when Trystan was nine months pregnant — on his due date, in fact — to hear more about why they chose to share their story online, what it means to be a trans parent, and what the future holds for queer families like theirs. The following account has been collected from various in-person and phone interviews leading up to the birth of Trystan and Biff’s son Leo. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.